Prayers of adoration for those who have retired

1. Sweeter than honey

A spoon dipping into a honey jarYou will need: mini breadsticks or the longer ones broken into quarter lengths, small bowl of honey, instrumental music optional.

The following prayer maybe read aloud by a good reader (or projected on a screen if you have the facilities) whilst everyone is invited to take a bread stick, dip it in the honey and savour the sweetness as they share in the prayer.

I thank you, O God, for the pleasures
You have given me through my senses;
For the glory of thunder,
For the mystery of music
The singing of birds and the laughter of children.
I thank you for the delights of colour,
The awe of the sunset,
The wild roses in the hedgerows,
The smile of friendship.

I thank you for the sweetness of honey
And the scent of hay.
Truly, O Lord, the earth is full of your riches!

Edward King (1829-1910) adapted

2. Reflective DVDs and music

Rainbow colours on the surface of a CDUsing reflective instrumental music, lead prayers of adoration from one of the many anthologies and books of prayers which are appropriate for your group and season of the year.

A great example of images and music already combined is Just Worship Vol 3 – Celtic Prayer DVD (two samples to view: Believe and Trinity based on Celtic spirituality).

This is Volume 3 in a series of DVDs of excellent worship resources, with music from the Northumbria Community, Dave Fitzgerald and the Celtic tradition. It features prayers, meditations and reflections, free screensavers from Lindisfarne Scriptorium and PowerPoint compatible video files (that could also act as background videos for your own prayers or songs).

Also included is artist Mary Fleeson from the Lindisfarne Scriptorium sharing her thoughts on prayer and how prayer shapes her work, Ray Simpson of the International Community of Aidan and Hilda sharing his thoughts on Celtic spirituality and Canon Kate Tristram providing insights from the first Irish monks who evangelised Northern England from Lindisfarne. With approximately 55 minutes of film clips, Just Worship is an ideal resource for those churches who are using video projectors.

3. Psalm consequences

A Bible open at Psalm 92

The game of consequences is an old favourite. Using the consequences structure gives everyone a chance to write prayers of praise and worship to God. The more poetic people could help the less confident writers produce wonderful pieces of poetry and prayer. This idea can be done with a group of people of any size.

You will need: a piece of A4 paper, a pen and Bible for each person, perhaps a CD player and some music.

Method

Choose a couple of praise psalms to inspire you in your prayers as a group. Good examples are Psalm 92, Psalm 95.1-7 or Psalm 148. Share in the reading by going around the group and reading two verses of the psalm each.

Give out the paper and pens and explain that you are going to create your own psalm of praise to God in a similar manner to the consequences game. Ask everyone to fold their pieces of paper into eight vertical sections, then unfold them so that the creases can be seen. Ask the group to:

  1. Write at the top a line of praise to God - eg, 'Lord, I worship you'.
  2. Ask everyone to fold this first line backwards so the words can't be seen, then pass their piece of paper to the person on their left.
  3. On the next section write an aspect of God's character starting with 'because' – eg, 'because you are good'. Fold your paper backwards and pass once more.
  4. Then write another aspect of God's character starting with 'and'. Fold and pass again.
  5. Now write two things about how wonderful God's creation is, such as 'Your mountains are big, your rivers shine in the sun'.  Fold and pass on again.
  6. Write something God does for you personally. It could be something like 'You guide me'. Fold and pass on.
  7. Write a personal message to Jesus with 'because' in the middle - eg, 'I thank you, Jesus, because you died for me'. Fold and pass again.
  8. Write a resolution, such as 'Therefore, I will be glad and share your love with others'. Fold and pass one more time.
  9. Finally, open the pieces of paper and read the results out loud, perhaps over some instrumental music. To encourage you about how creative the results can be, here is an example that our home group came up with:

God, you are more powerful than the wicked men of earth.
You are the source of all our joy and wonder and beauty;
And love is your middle name.
Your mountains rise to greet the dawn, the seas roar at your sunrise;
You reveal yourself in ways that surprise us.
Jesus, you are cool, because you didn't just tell us the way, you showed us!
Therefore, I will praise and worship you for ever!
Amen.

Adapted from an idea by Paul Millard, taken from Sue Wallace, Multi-Sensory Scripture, Scripture Union, 2005, p19.